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November 2, 2011

Webex Recording of the meeting

Go here to get the webex recording player

Proposed Agenda

Chesapeake Presentation

  • Background on USGS Chesapeake Bay studies
    • people
  • purpose for decision support
    • major study area topics
  • Most Common Data
    • Key National Data sets (Best practices for incorporating a Chesapeake Bay subset?)
    • Key Regional Data sets and Models
    • Small Watersheds (The real treasure trove of poorly managed data)
    • Reports (The most popular data product)
  • Current Infrastructure and Resources
    • Hosting resources
    • Previous/ Current Apps (Lessons learned)
  • Use Cases
    • 3 major end user goals

Group Tasks: Greenfield working team sign up / next steps

Topics Covered

Dave Blodgett (Lead)
Cassandra Ladino (Presenter)
Abby Benson
Doug Nebert
Farial Shahnaz
Jean Freeney
Lorraine Murphy
Matt Tricomi
Roger Barlow
Scott McEwen
Shawn Dadisman
Steve Tessler
Tim Mancuso


Since 2004, EGSC has been working on DSS technologies.
Outline: Background, Common data, current capabilities, use cases, next steps.
Driven by Presidential directive (Executive Order 2009) and community needs for working collaboratively in an adaptive management framework.
Community is largely research scientists and field techs.
70 different projects
13 national USGS programs are involved.
IT managed at local Science Centers.
EGSC has stepped into a central roll for data management.
Some cross collaboration between USGS(nawqa) and EPA to support IT work.
Water quality, habitat, fisheries, watershed health are the main study areas of research.
National dataset:
Datasets - NLCD, NED< NHD, DRG, NWIS
Programs with data - NADP (atmospheric deposition), Toxics, NAWQA
Need to access subsets of these data.
Want to avoid duplication.

Regional datasets:

HUCS, Hydro regions, River Input Monitoring Network (regional networks for assessing water quality and trends), local LULC, Chesapeake Bay SPARROW model output, Urban land change model, groundwater model.
Shows a spreadsheet of watersheds and issues affecting/being studied in those watershed.

  • Note that the regional and local data is not be entered into national databases.
    • At present, the data exists in report form only.
  • Have reports back to 1940! 300 pubs in ScienceBase virtual catalog just based on key word "Chesapeake Bay".
    • Geolocation of pubs is questionable. (this would be a good first step)
  • Real need to pull data out of pubs and implementing best practices.
    Lots more data to be managed! Too much to cover here... lots more to follow on this.

Current infrastructure:

  • USGS - NatWeb
    EGSC resources: 1 prod and 1 dev server.
  • 15-20 apps (mostly demo in nature)
  • Want to move to Cloud infrastructure.
  • Personnel:
    • 1 full time programer with domain knowledge full time,
    • 2 senior programers part time
    • 1 admin full time.

Current EGSC Apps:

  • COAST website:
  • COAST = Chesapeake Online Adaptive Support Toolkit
  • OpenLayers, Mapserver, Geoserver, dynamic Styling (python)
  • 1st major app - SPARROW for the chesapeake bay.
    • Lorraine Murphy is part of a Team working on the NAWQA decision support system based on Sparrow models for the Chesapeake. Offered to collaborate on next phase of this tool.
  • 2nd major app - Forest management tool
    • Simple, transparent model that helps people make management decisions based on thier own prioritys. Spatial data layers are reassined to a common numerical scale and then the user can apply thier own ranking and weights to create a "priority map".

Lessons Learned:

  • Small team makes delivering rapidly difficult.
  • Using "OPC" Other people's code helps get things done quicker.
  • Application management/maintenance is a LOT of work and not achievable sometimes.
  • Need more community code that meet our use cases.

Other efforts:

  • NBII Data Portal
    • Liked that it was part of a larger system, made data available to broader audience.
    • Nice UI, custom built.
    • Data wasn't easily accessed by other applications.
    • Got a lot of use though!
  • ChesapeakeStat
    • ESRI Flex-based
    • Still under development
    • Provides some geospatial data, emphasis is on reporting progress toward environmental goals.

Use Cases:

3 components - multi-user front end, data uploader, data catalog.

  • Goal #1 - Data "search engine", coupled metadata/service catalog. Easy to add data from it to a map or desktop app. (GeoNetwork?!?)
  • Goal #2 - Stable data services using a variety of standards for a host of applications to depend on.
  • Goal #3 - Intuitive, easy to use GUI for populating the Data Portal with a low bar to entry.
    Primary audience: Acedemic/scientific (assumed), EPA chesapeake bay program, state regulatory programs, but use cases are not well understood from states.
    Good to frame this in a way that the regulatory agency can use it to get their work done and back up the work they do. The regulatory agencies have a longer term mission than researchers.

NGP comment (Tricomi)
1. With the large use of NED, NHD, NLCD, Scanned Maps, etc. , I thought I'd add Vicki Lukas and Carl Zulick (both on same floor as you in Reston) would likely be interested in hearing needs or wish list from this effort for National Geospatial Program Products (National MapTNM). Carl/Vicki working out how we can capture some of these community of use needs, but still may worth a reach out. Rob Dollison may also be interested in hearing similar about capabilities that NGP/TNM could help offer - basemap services, overlay services, download, etc.
2. Finally, the approach seems similar to the Colorado River Basin off/on effort that DOI Dep Secretary and AS are interested in. NGP has helped out in some base support there as well as WIM/Gary Latzke team. Some info exchange may be worth it there with Gary's team (given the code re-use point).
3. Upcoming DOI GIS and business analytics effort may be something to track as well - really relates to the cheasepeakebaystat approach (Is my guess). Steve Tessler added - There really is a generic set of needs.

Next Steps

1) Form Chesapeake DMS Working Group (Poll CDI as a whole and reach out to partners)
2) Create Chesapeake DMS wiki (Confluence Wiki)
3) Host special session at annual USGS Chesapeake Bay Workshop, April 2012
Contacts: CL, Paul Hearn, Scott Phillips